Steve Mandala


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Univision Communications announced the appointment of Steve Mandala to President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, effective immediately. Mandala, who was most recently Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, will remain based in New York and will report to Tonia O’Connor, Chief Revenue Officer. In this role, Mandala will oversee advertising sales and marketing for UCI’s suite of media offerings, including the Univision Network, UniMás, UCI’s cable networks including Galavisión and UDN (Univision Deportes Network), as well as Local Media and Digital. As he transitions into the role, he will work closely with Keith Turner, who recently announced plans to retire this year.

Formerly a vice president of Sales for Univision’s west coast network, Mandala rejoined the Company in 2012.

Tonia O’Connor has been promoted to the newly created position of chief revenue officer at Univision Communications. In her new role she will oversee all of Univision Communications’ revenue streams, including linear and digital advertising, content distribution and new revenue development. She joined Univision as executive VP of distribution sales and marketing in 2008 and was most recently chief commercial officer and head of content distribution. Among her first actions as CRO will be to appoint a successor to Keith Turner, Univision’s president of ad sales and marketing ,who recently announced his plan to retire at the end of this year. 

Keesha Jean-Baptiste has joined 4A’s organization as senior vice president. Jean-Baptiste comes to the 4A’s after a long tenure heading up talent and HR at Wieden+Kennedy.Jean-Baptiste will further develop the 4A’s Talent and Inclusion practice by providing strategic planning, program oversight and development of 4A’s diversity and inclusion offerings, including the 4A’s Foundation, the Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) and its high school programs. Additionally, she will support member agencies on diversity and inclusion best practices.She will relocate to New York and will be based in the 4A’s headquarters.



Kelly Campbell has been appointed chief marketing officer at Hulu. She was previously managing director of global growth marketing for Google Cloud.





Toby Southgate has been appointed global chief growth officer at McCann Worldgroup. He was previously CEO of WPP communications unit Brand Union, where he spent about a decade in assorted executive roles. Prior to that he was a managing partner at Third Eye Design.




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Steve Mandala, Executive Vice President of Advertising and SalesThe first time Univision hosted an upfront presentation in New York City was in May 1997, when the then company President and COO Henry Cisneros unveiled the network’s 1997-1998 season programming, boasting a record number of live hours of news, information, novelas, sporting events and specials. That year was also the last at Univision for sales executive Steve Mandala, who moved on to Telemundo as vice president/Telemundo Station and Affiliate Sales.

Today, 16 years later, Mr. Mandala will co-host Univision’s upfront presentation in New York City, this time as Executive Vicepresident of Advertising and Sales, a position he assumed in October of 2012 after spending the previous 15 years in various leadership roles at NBCUniversal and Telemundo.

Portada’s Senior Correspondent Laura Martínez caught up with Mr. Mandala at his offices in Midtown Manhattan. An edited excerpt follows:

Portada: You are back in Univision after 15 years… What is that like? 

Steve Mandala: It’s such a different company now… It is so different, it’s not even appropriate to compare it [with what it was like back then.] I can tell you this is my first real upfront with Univision. Univision today is a multimedia company with 12 network brands; 52 TV stations and 59 radio stations in all the top markets and a digital brands that we continue to roll.

P: What would you say is Univision’s main differentiator from, say, working at a bigger media like NBCU?

SM: Univision is big enough and complex enough to meet any client’s needs. And yet, we’re still small enough that we can get things done easily for our clients. We are not bureaucratic; so I think we’re at that perfect size.

P: What does the current upfront looks like?

SM: We are very optimistic about this particular upfront for two reasons. On the supply side, our ratings are up, but we have a lot more to offer our clients in addition to ratings; whether it is our transmedia offerings or made-for-web properties such as Flama, Uforia or UniMás. On the demand side, the economy continues to improve. Automotive sales are almost back at pre-recession levels; retail sales are very strong. Even the movie business, which is a tough business, continues to show growth; packaged goods is a very healthy marketplace.

P: How many brands or categories have you added in the last year?

SM: I can tell you we’ve grown the number of brands on our air by about 50 over the course of the last year.

P: Univision has strengthened its relationship with Televisa. Are you guys close to making a panregional sale?

SM: I don’t have a lot of tenure to speak about the history of the relationship. But my sense is that our relationship with Televisa has never been better. I can tell you that in the six months I’ve been here, the very senior leaders of Televisa have been unbelievably supportive. It’s never been better… As to a panregional deal, we don’t have anything to announce right now; but I think that is an interesting prospect, and so does Televisa.

P: What would you say are the main impediments for this?

SM: One of the biggest stumbling blocks to [a panregional deal] is to find clients who have the same products or services on both sides of the border and who market those products or services with the same strategies. I think there is great potential, though, especially with programs that we share. For example, Premios TvyNovelas [which aired 04/28/13]] is very interesting to us, because the idea of a single program that has a social media aspect to it, airing in both countries at the same time provides opportunities that we didn’t have either. I think this type of innovation will spark opportunities for clients.

P: How would you go about to make it happen? 

SM: It’s a question of, ‘Do we find the brands that live on both sides of the border with the same strategies?’ or ‘do we create a program that lives on both sides of the border so that clients can tie into it?’ It’s a bit of a ‘chicken-and-the-egg’ situation. But here’s the good news: I don’t think it matters which one was first, if the chicken or the egg, because both have started to coalesce at the same time.

P: Is your team at Univision at all involved in selling advertising for Fusion, the ABCNews/Univision joint venture?

No. ABC is in charge. Our responsibility is to run the content in that venture. The ABC team is terrific at doing that. We’re happy and here to help but sales is their role.

P: Besides Enrique Iglesias, who is scheduled to perform today at your presentation, can we expect any other surprises?

Inevitably we always like to hold back a couple of things and I think it’s going to be the case this year too. Come to our show! You’ll find out soon enough.


Univision on Friday unveiled plans to roll out over 30 new shows during the 2013-2014 season, and said it will place an emphasis on more targeted, multimedia programming, offering more product integration opportunities than ever before and more engagement with the Hispanic consumer.

During a pre-upfront presentation call with U.S.-based reporters, Univision executives Randy Falco, César Conde, Steve Mandala and Keith Turner discussed programming, ratings, advertising opportunities and plans to close the gap between ad spend in Spanish-language media and English-language media. “It’s a constant struggle; one we deal with on a regular basis,” said Falco. “We are closing the gap; though it will not happen overnight.”

Spending on Spanish-language TV made up about 8% of all TV-ad spending in 2012, per Kantar Media. Still, according to Nielsen Hispanics make up 17% of total viewers and up to 20% of the coveted 18-49 demographic.

“Advertisers can no longer ignore the fact that viewing of the four English-language networks is eroding – down 11 percent season-to-date – whereas Univision’s audience is up and is being fueled by the most significant population trend in the country,” added César Conde, president of the Univision Networks.

Univision on Tuesday morning will host an upfront presentation at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

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